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Author: Vanessa Ngan, Staff Writer, 2003.
An angiokeratoma is a small red to purple papule. It may have a rough scaly surface. It is composed of surface blood vessels (dilated capillaries). Often unnoticed, an angiokeratoma may become crusty and bleed if accidentally scratched or damaged, or a harmless clot may form in the lesion (thrombosis), changing the colour to dark purple or black overnight.
There are several types of angiokeratomas:
Angiokeratoma of Mibelli
Angiokeratoma of Fordyce
Angiokeratoma corporis diffusum
Apart from Fabry disease, which is caused by a genetic defect, the cause of other angiokeratomas is unknown.
See also, angiokeratoma pathology.
Angiokeratomas are harmless surface vascular lesions that can usually be left alone. As the black spots sometimes resemble melanoma, a skin biopsy may be performed to rule out malignancy and allay any fears.
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